Celeb Car Crash – ¡Mucha Lucha!

CCC_RingMaster Review

Fusing a great blend of nineties rock and pop punk into a modern alternative rock invention, Italian quartet Celeb Car Crash have a sound which feels simultaneously fresh and familiar. It is a mix which makes their latest EP, ¡Mucha Lucha! an adventurous but equally, an instinctively enticing proposition. Bringing three varied and fiercely magnetic slices of melodic rock ‘n’ roll to bear on ears and appetite, the release alone suggests that Celeb Car Crash are pushing towards major attention.

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Nicola Briganti, drummer Michelangelo Naldini, guitarist Carlo Alberto Morini, and bassist Simone Benati, Celeb Car Crash emerged at the end of 2012 and quickly set about recording their first encounter. Ambush! was unveiled in the April of 2013, backed by the video /single Dead Poets Society. Gaining strong attention from fans and media alike, the album was supported by an extensive tour across Italy, Switzerland, France, and the UK and shows supporting bands such as Gotthard and Coheed and Cambria, all reinforcing the emergence of record and band. After another well-received single the previous year, 2014 saw the band again concentrate on tours and shows, ending with Celeb Car Crash winning the Red Bull Tourbus contest against 1700 other entrants, resulting in the band playing three shows as support to Lacuna Coil and the chance to record a new single. That was to be Because I’m Sad, the opening song and lead to the ¡Mucha Lucha! EP.

celeb-car-crash-300x300Celeb Car Crash - ¡Mucha Lucha!     Backed by two unreleased tracks on the EP, the Olly Riva and Mario Rice produced Because I’m Sad gets things off to a gripping start. From its opening coaxing of acoustic guitar and the swiftly magnetic voice of Briganti, the song has ears in the palm of its hands, especially as the gentle opening soon sparks a feistier burst of rhythms and riffs. Quickly blooming greater colour and richer tempting through spicy hooks and anthemic enterprise, it continues to evolve, breaking into a tenacious canter reminding of bands like Everclear and Jimmy Eat World. It is a recognisable essence though which only adds to the potency and arousing drama of the song, and indeed its virulent infectiousness.

The following Next Summer has a more hard rock endeavour to its character but also a rhythm and blues spicing which has thoughts of Graham Parker hinting as it continues to explore its wiry walls and throaty canvas. Sharing the same boisterous energy as its predecessor and ripe with melodic flames and catchy hooks, the song shows another hue to the songwriting and sound of Celeb Car Crash, a raw and dirtier toning bred from more fresh and varied sources of rock ‘n roll gripping the imagination.

The EP is completed by ¡Adiós Talossa! (tututu), a sultry seductive affair from the off with warm emotive coaxing cast from the trumpet of Damiele Ravaiolli. Growing and blossoming with every passing minute, the bewitching track grows into a grungy pop punk affair around a compelling rhythmic stomp. Whispers of Green Day, Nirvana, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and again Graham Parker all seem to collude as a thicker aural colour continues to enrich a captivating encounter spawned from the band’s own invigorating ideation.

The opener and closer definitely steal the show upon ¡Mucha Lucha! but the thoroughly enjoyable Next Summer also shows that Celeb Car Crash have real variety and depth to their music and writing. A little late to the party, the EP is actually our introduction to the band but one which has sparked a keen appetite to see where they go next. An intrigue we will surely not be alone in.

¡Mucha Lucha! is available now via Sliptrick Records through most digital stores.

http://www.celebcarcrash.com/ https://www.facebook.com/CelebCarCrash/

RingMaster 22/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

 

 

Officer – Myriads

officer_RingMaster Review

Whether gripping attention with a rousing energy or laying an evocative caress on the senses, Myriads, the debut album from British singer-songwriter Officer, is an emotionally mesmeric and invigoratingly compelling adventure for ears and imagination. It is an exhilarating introduction to one of the most exciting songwriters to emerge in recent times and more than shows why its creator’s fans took it upon themselves to help push the release and artist towards a national recognition.

Officer is the musical moniker of Dc Logan, a musician born into the raw council estate life of Glasgow before spending much of his early upbringing in Northern Ireland during the height of the troubles. With poetry, short stories, and illustration already blooming from his imagination, Logan turned to music from the moment he picked up his father’s old guitar on the night The Good Friday Agreement was laid down. Eventually a move to London ensued and the creation of punk band Colourcode, they releasing a pair of EPs and one album across five years. Also dedicating his time and effort to helping the homeless and poor, Logan’s music and songs continued to evolve and breed their own heart and voice, every experience and aspects of life he has owes and come across seemingly adding another rich hue lyrically and musically to his songs. It has earned Officer a cult following, loyal fans which without the knowledge of Logan united and set up a support network to raise funds for the artist to record and now take his music to the broadest attention. The result is Myriads; a kaleidoscope of life, emotion, and invention which simply enthrals.

The album opens with Laughing Rafters and a gentle, suggestive shuffle of melodic and ambient sound. The potent coaxing is soon embracing the strong tones of Logan, his voice as vibrant as it is melancholic and a captivating mix matching the similarly provocative sounds continuing to brew around his engaging presence. As quickly as the song entices musically, so it does lyrically, an intimacy and easy relatable reflection wrapping every word and syllable. It is a potency fuelling every song in their individual adventures, and here casting a thick croon of folk and melodic rock tempting. Like The National meets Jeff Buckley with a touch of Doves thrown in, the song is a fiercely magnetic start.

Officer cover_RingMaster Review   Glass Ceiling, also from an elegantly restrained start, builds its own drama of sound and intensity next, flowing twists through emotional calms and rousing crescendos colluding for an irresistible anthem for body, emotions, and simply one’s own energy. The song is wholly immersive but with a virulence which dictates body and energy to leave the listener on an inflamed high which the following Can We Talk? tempers with its warm serenade but also continues through its infectiously poetic musical and emotional presence. The song is pure bewitchment, thickening in tone and drama with every passing minute to also leave rich pleasure and fascination in its wake.

As impressive and thrilling as it and its predecessors are, Act of Survival strikes a new plateau of thrills and incitement. Straight away rapier like rhythms pierce strolling melody soaked riffs and chords as Logan’s voice paints another striking and gripping lyrical revelation. The track is glorious, at times finding hues which remind of The Cure and in other moments of bands like British Sea Power and Johnny Wore Black, whilst sculpting its own unique theatre of original songwriting and heart bred enterprise.

The gentle but increasingly tempestuous haunting kiss of One Day comes next, its emotive resonance a lingering hug which eventually makes way for the tenacious and lively roar of The Waters. Again early Cure springs to mind as guitars and rhythms unleash slim but inescapable lures, whilst melodically and vocally there is a Placebo like lilt to the breath-taking waltz. It is a track to get the mind turning and blood rushing through the body, all the better for the inspired almost hidden echo which simply adds an ingenious extra depth to the already full-blooded and rounded, and not forgetting quite brilliant encounter.

Both Ambulance and DATV ensure there is no noticeable dip after such a pinnacle. The first is a tantalising slice of dark folk with a sultry air around shadow wrapped strings and acoustic expression whilst its successor, from the same kind of template, explores an even darker heart enlivened with more of the haunting textures and imagination which Logan has already revealed being skilfully adept at brewing. The pair sublimely entices appetite and imagination before Elisabeth holds ears with a balladry which is as explosive as it is serene. As across every track on the album, resourceful unpredictability and inspired boldness shapes and guides the hypnotic proposal, and again a spellbinding proposition is the outcome.

   My Darling Defibrillator takes us next on another climatic and at times atmospherically sweltering flight of invention and emotional turmoil, the song absorbing the listener in raw and impassioned beauty whilst seducing ears through to psyche, with another major incitement within Myriads.

The album is completed by the thoughtful and provocative serenade of Burst and finally the sonic bordering on harrowing, emotionally imposing AFM. They are two tracks which may not find the heights of those before but bring the album to a hugely evocative closure. Many moons back certain tingles and pleasure was found in the Black debut album Wonderful Life, a solo release which has stayed in thoughts and an ever evolving personal soundtrack ever since with the same potency. Those same ‘chills’ arose with Myriads and it is easy to suspect Officer will become the same kind of persistent encounter for us and a great many more old and new hearts within his already impacting fan base.

Myriads is available from 31st July and can be pre-ordered now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/id1018844878

https://www.facebook.com/iamofficer     http://officer.uk.com

RingMaster 20/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

We Came As Strangers – Still Life

WCAS_RingMaster Review

Ahead of third album Eyedom, English based seduction We Came As Strangers release their new single Still Life, a mesmeric embrace and teaser which inescapably stirs up the imagination and appetite for their oncoming full-length.

Since forming vocalist Ellem, guitarist Justin Sandercoe, keyboardist Owen Thomas, bass player Tim Harries, with drummer Tom Meadows has persistently fascinated and immersed ears and indeed thoughts with their increasingly evocative blend of folk, rock, and avant-garde invention. Previous albums Recipe for Adventure and Shattered Matter have taken the listener on flights of trippy alternative rock/pop. Acclaim and increasing stature has constantly followed in the wake of the band’s releases but if Still life is the full suggestiveness of what Eyedom will hold, We Came As Strangers’ greatest success and rewards are around the corner.

From the quirky opening keys, swiftly followed by the ever siren like tones of Ellem, the song romances the senses and imagination. Rhythms are soon adding their darker temperament and richness though whilst guitars and keys entwine their own thick and individually sultry melodic charms. In no time it is a bewitching persuasion locked in drama and creative flirtation. Ethereal and haunting, summery and shadowed, the song is simply virulent seduction, its chorus alone sparking tingles certainly down our spines.

The video below will reveal the rest of the song’s fascinating majesty and equally why, as for so many others, Eyedom just cannot engulf ears soon enough.

Still Life is available from July 20th

https://www.facebook.com/WeCameAsStrangers   http://wecameasstrangers.com/

RingMaster 20/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

Rousing carousels: an interview with Woody Woodgate

 

woody_RingMaster Review

This past week saw the highly anticipated debut solo album from Woody Woodgate released, a pop adventure lighting ears and imagination at every captivating turn. In Your Mind is an encounter which put a smile on our faces whilst often providing evocative hues to reflect and linger over. We had to delve a little deeper into the album and with the kindness of the man himself we explored one of this summer’s treats…

Hi Woody and many thanks for sparing time to chat with us.

Let us get straight to the main reason for taking a slice of your time, debut solo album In Your Mind. With your long creative career in music it feels a little surprising it has taken so long for a solo project to emerge from you. Has this been bubbling in thoughts for quite a while or something which suddenly erupted inside because of a break in other endeavours?

After releasing the Magic Brothers album The Magic Line with my brother Nick, I wanted to take our songs to another level. Quite simply I wanted to work with other musicians. My brother Nick and I have been writing songs together for years. Songs that are appropriate for Madness, go to Madness, songs that I love, but aren’t appropriate for Madness I’ll work on. It’s no good if they don’t see the light of day. Nothing’s been bubbling; it’s all been coming out for years in different guises.

The diverse tracks and sounds within the album is something distinctly different to Madness and indeed Magic Brothers for me. I think I read they were originally planned for the second Magic Brothers album, is that so and how much did you develop further once they were destined for In Your Mind?

They were destined for the Magic Brothers, but it wasn’t really a Magic Brothers project once I got Dan Shears (vocals) and Tim Maple (guitars, and Keyboards) on board. I also took over all the arranging and producing, so it became increasingly my project.

woodywoodgate_inyourmind-_RingMaster ReviewWere there any particular musical inspirations which might have sparked flavours woven into In Your Mind?

I’m a kid from the seventies so it’s packed with influences from the Beatles, ELO, Supertramp, 10cc, through to Pink Floyd, and Jimi Hendrix. Not forgetting my 37 years of Madness, which is my default setting when writing 3 minute pop songs?

Obviously writing and developing songs within a broad line-up like Madness must be very different to composing and creating in Magic Brothers and your solo release. Have you found there is a kind of freedom coming with writing your own music and songs without having to I guess compromise more?

It’s very rewarding being able to put in rock guitar riffs, solos, multi-layered vocals, and do soppy love songs, but it’s also quite hard in the sense that you don’t have anyone to tell you whether or not you’re going up your own jacksy. Self-indulgence can be a dangerous thing, if not checked.

As much as the songs and sounds captivated us here so did the wave of nostalgia it sparked, memories of being a small excited and innocent kid going on that big adventure on a holiday etc. I am assuming it was those kinds of experience and memory for you inspiring songs and album?

If I can put across my experience, I guarantee there’s someone out there who can relate. I also think that lyrics can mean different things to different people, and that’s the beauty of music. The simple fact that you were captivated, and conjured up visions of “a small exited and innocent kid on that big adventure on a holiday etc.” says it all. You (as a listener) were transported into another world though the music, drawing on your own imagination. Hence, “In Your Mind.”

How personal and intimate are the songs to your childhood and experiences?

It’s a mixture of one’s own experience, and imagination.

Was it easy to expose a real part of you as a person and your experiences in life into the album?

I didn’t know I had? So I suppose the answer is “Yes.”

Music was a big part of your upbringing and your brother Nick’s too?

Very much so…It was pivotal.

One of the reasons behind the album was the time allowed because the second Magic Brothers album had to be postponed because of Nick’s “on-going battle with mental health issues” to quote the press release for the album. May I ask what kind of impact his problems have brought to Magic Brothers and In Your Mind in regards to its tones, reflective depths, and lyrical themes?

To be honest, the only thing that was affected by Nick’s illness was his ability to perform live, and take the new album on the road. Nick thought it was only fair that we try out other singers, as the pressure was getting to him, and pressure can set off psychotic episodes. When I found Dan Shears, the pressure on Nick was lifted, and he was able to go back to what he’s best at, and that’s writing great songs. When it comes to writing songs Nick’s illness isn’t a problem, it doesn’t impair his ability to write, and his lyrics very rarely touch on his psychosis, they’re more about his relationships. In all respects he’s just a songwriter, like anyone else. It’s just he’s a very good one, who happens to have schizophrenia.

So though not to the fore Nick’s creative hand is more involved in the album than we might initially imagine?

The album would be nothing without Nick. He is the catalyst to all the songs. I simply reconstruct the dinosaur from the scraps of bones I’m given. Granted there is a lot of interpretation involved, but all in all we complete each other.

Tell us about the link up with Dan, how did you meet and what inspired you to get him involved?woody_RingMaster Review

I worked in a school ten years ago teaching Music Technology and Media Studies, and Dan was a student doing his A-levels. He stood out from the crowd, and was clearly a special talent, with a great voice, and musical sensibility. A part from that we really got on well, and he made me laugh. When I was trying out new singers for the album the one thing that became apparent was their lack of range. I hadn’t seen Dan for ten years, but he kept cropping up in my thoughts, as he was the one singer I knew could do the job, but I had no idea where he was, or what he was doing with his life. Ironically he contacted me on social media to say that he was releasing a solo album, and would I be interested in giving it a listen? I put it to him that I too was doing an album, and would he sing on it? The rest is history.

His voice reminded us of a mix between Ian Broudie and Ste McCabe, and really stoked and matched the feel of the music and their intimate revelry well.

Interesting? Queer Core Lightening Seeds. Not something I envisaged, but I can see where you’re coming from.

How involved was he, other than vocally of course?

Involved in as much as he was encouraged to be himself, and to put his own inflections into the vocal performance

Is there any particular moment within In Your Mind which gives you a certain tingle of satisfaction or pleasure etc.?

Only that it sounds great on radio…Which gives me a buzz from a technical point of view.

Now it is out luring acclaim and attention, is there a thought inside that you should have done this sooner?

I couldn’t have done it sooner, I wasn’t ready. I had too much to learn. Now is the perfect time. I’m ready.

Time allowing, will exploring further solo adventures possibly be on the cards?

Absolutely!

woody and dan from In Your Mind video_RingMaster ReviewI love the video for the song In Your Mind, a song relating to Nick’s issues I believe? Who is behind and created its captivating and evocative look?

Tom Johnson, another of my brilliant students back in the day created the video, but you’re wrong about the subject matter. It’s not about Nick, and in a way you have fallen into the trap of stigmatising him. Just because the video is surreal, and the title is ‘In Your Mind” you are presuming it’s about mental illness. It is in fact about getting lost in your imagination, the way children do when they play, and how we get carried away in a book, or story. We can be transported to another world in our minds. It’s as simple as that.

(In our defence it was the press release stating the song “was an ode to a younger brother battling his demons” which led our thoughts to that conclusion and only in regard to that one track)

Is there a chance any of the songs within In Your Mind might get a live airing at some point, somewhere?

I’m going to try and put in a gig or two, in between Madness commitments. We’ll see.

Once again big thanks for taking time out for us. Is there anything you would like to leave us with?

My advice to anyone listening to the album is to take out of the equation the fact that my brother is a schizophrenic, and judge it on its merits alone. You may hear the album in a new light, and it won’t cloud or prejudice your thinking.

Lastly, I know you are working with the charity Rethink Mental Illness. Would you like to give details/links people can go to learn more and offer their support?

Twitter: @rethink or www.rethink.org

http://www.woodywoodgate.co.uk/

Read the In Your Mind review@ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/woody-woodgate-in-your-mind/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 16/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

The Meow Meows – Friends On Benefits EP

meow meows_RingMaster Review

Starting with one of the most flirtatious embraces likely to be heard this summer and proceeding to cast another two slices of pure aural suggestiveness, the Friends On Benefits EP from UK ska rockers The Meow Meows, puts the irresistible into virulent temptation. Three songs of the Brighton nine-piece’s increasingly renown fusion of eighties ska and even older garage rock with a more than healthy punk bred diversity, the EP is one inescapable incitement for body and imagination.

The Meow Meows emerged on the Brighton live scene around 2005, the collective rising from the ashes of several bands from the south-coast ska-punk scene. It was not long before their reputation and fan-base flourished through their energetic live presence and a sound which bewitched feet and ears with infectious ease. The years since forming have seen the band share stages with the likes of The Temptations, The Skatalites, Reel Big Fish, The Beat, The Selecter, King Blues, The Skints, and Hollie Cook amongst many, and the release of a couple of well-received albums. Debut full-length Songs From The Fridge stirred up plenty of attention but it is probably fair to say that its 2013 successor Somehow We Met, helped push the band into new spotlights. Friends On Benefits, like that album, was recorded with producer and reggae legend Prince Fatty and quickly confirms The Meow Meows as one of the UK’s truly instinctive creators of contagion.

cover_RingMaster Review     The seeds to the Friends On Benefits EP arose from the band being one of ten artists commissioned by Fuel Theatre for their Music to Move to project, its aim to create works from bands in union with choreographers which would inspire the general public to dance. Equipped with another pair of toe inciting swingers, also loaded with humour laced and snarling social /political themed lyrics, band and release swiftly set hips to work with the EP’s title track. Brass and rhythms instantly collude in a gentle but forceful sway as guitars within another breath add their sultry hues to the melodic smile of the keys. Alternating their individual vocals over the verses, both Danny and Hanna spark further hunger, the two ladies temptress like within the rousing swagger and shuffle of the song. With a whiff of The Bodysnatchers to it, as well as The Beaubowbelles and The Jellycats, the track is a spellbinding and lingering bounce of a persuasion swiftly matched by its successor.

London Road has an even chirpier gait to its stroll, brass and beats quick-footed protagonists within the key’s smouldering caress. As in the first, the music embraces the vocals with a more restrained energy yet it never loses the infectious lure ripe in its presence and enterprise, in fact springing new melodic flames with every twist of its irresistible tempting. As it proceeds with a distinctive and magnetically quaint Hammond organ tone seducing, the song gently and seamlessly evolves to subsequently emerge with a Martha and the Muffins like new wave colouring which seems to feed and accelerate the excellent ska fuelled and increasingly agitated climax of the outstanding song.

The EP is completed by Tits & Hatred, a more old school punk endeavour which echoes with essences of bands like Au Pairs and The Raincoats within its severely tantalising and eagerly varied character. The track is again primarily brewed from the band’s seventies inspired 2-tone/ska punk inspirations which of course are in turn dosed up with the band’s compelling touch and imagination; the result being one mouth-watering end to one thrilling proposition.

The Meow Meows create ska punk ’n’ roll to lose your inhibitions and body to, with Friends On Benefits the spark to lustful endeavour.

The Friends On Benefits EP is available on vinyl from July 13th via Jump Up! Records and digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/friends-on-benefits-single/id997669416 or http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00Y6EIGXO?keywords=Friends%20On%20Benefits%20EP&qid=1436784848&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

http://www.themeowmeows.com/     https://www.facebook.com/themeowmeows

RingMaster 13/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

 

A Billion Lions – Doomsday Babies

BILLION LIONS PROMO PIC1_RingMaster Review

You assume all bands unleash their best and most potent song on ears for their debut single, uncage their most virulently attractive proposal to whip up attention and appetites. The following question is always can they back it up next time. Well that query offered has been dynamically answered when it comes to British band A Billion Lions. Earlier this year, they exploded on the imagination with Torquay, a song which with contagious ease provided of one of the year’s most invigorating singles so far. Now they return with its successor Doomsday Babies, a just as fiery and tenacious riot of pop rock which sizzles on the senses and explodes in the passions. If their first single lit the fuse to inescapable attraction, prepare to have lustful thoughts with their second.

Formed in 2012, the Leeds/Bradford hailing A Billion Lions soon had the local scene to their feet with their ferociously energetic rock ‘n’ roll. A pair of demo recordings, On My Lover and I’m Free, began an introduction for the band to broader fields via YouTube, that potent tempting backed by an increasingly acclaimed live presence. This led to End Of The Trail Records paying attention and a subsequent link up between label and band, and in due course the release of the acclaimed Torquay and now Doomsday Babies. The former lured strong media and radio attention, as well as a flood of new fans, and it is hard to see any reason why their newest offering cannot emulate and push further that kind of success.

artworks-A Billion Lions - Doomsday Babies_RingMaster ReviewDoomsday Babies opens on a bait of drum persuasion which alone awakes ears with a licking of lips, the brief and singular but potent lure soon joined by sonic caresses and a moody bassline, all courted by an instinctively suggestive hook. It is a masterfully magnetic start which discovers new fiery energy and a melodic haze as again thoroughly impressive and enjoyable vocals come in. Vocally the band is as energetic and resourceful in igniting ears and imagination as anything but within the just as rousing sounds they seem to gain extra angst and zeal. The layers of the song, as its predecessor, reveal twists of garage rock, punk, pop, and numerous more spicy flavours, all woven and honed into something distinct and individual to A Billion Lions, though at times there is a feel of My Red Cell to the track; a positive in anyone’s book we would suggest.

A Billion Lions have not only followed up their tremendous opening song with one of matching quality and thrills but Doomsday Babies reveals just a little more to what seems to be an increasingly expansive sound and imagination. Ahead of debut album Let It Happen which is scheduled for September, Doomsday Babies makes the perfect teaser whilst A Billion Lions simply reinforce themselves one of the exciting new breaths in UK rock.

Doomsday Babies is available from July 13th via End Of The Trail Records.

https://www.facebook.com/billionlions   https://twitter.com/ABillionLions

RingMaster 13/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

Shark Tape – Marathon

Picture 9

Filtering the best essences of punk, pop, indie, hard rock and more into their own industrious rock ‘n’ roll revelry, US band Shark Tape is a band which has been creating a buzz of their side of the globe for the past couple of years or so. Now their energetically flavoursome sound is concentrating on stirring up British attention through the UK release of debut album Marathon. A collection of songs as united in contagious enterprise as they are individual in character and imagination, the release is a sure fire incitement to body swerves, broad smiles, and feeling good.

Hailing from Philadelphia, Shark Tape emerged in 2007. They went through various project names before settling on the name we are now embracing. The trio of vocalist/bassist Stephen Lorek, guitarist Niles Weiss, and drummer Dylan Mulcahy released a pair of EPs in 2012, a self-titled debut and Eyes On You which were both well-received with the latter especially earning potent radio play from East Coast radio stations. Late 2013, the band linked up with renowned engineer Jeff Ziegler (Kurt Vile, War On Drugs) to begin working on their first album, Marathon receiving its acclaimed US release last November and now looking at sparking the same enthusiasm in the UK. With a host of inventively crafted songs bound in imaginatively woven sounds, it is easy to assume it is already a done deal in making the strongest persuasion over here too.

Picture 8     The album gets off to a seriously rousing start with Bronco, vibrant riffs and attention causing hooks instantly inescapable bait matched in potency by the varied vocal tones. The guitars jangle and entice right away with flirtatious indie rock endeavour, leading the listener and an already greedy appetite into an addiction forging chorus which swiftly enlists the listener’s vocal help to join their body’s already keen involvement. Like a mix of Weezer and UK band Asylums, the song is unbridled contagion and matched all the way by Marathon’s title track. Unveiling its own unique hooks and melodic temptation, the track has a healthy hard/glam rock urge in its fiery invention amidst another uncontrollable infection for ears and imagination. Totally different in sound it maybe, but song and indeed album not for the last time, shows the same instinctive ability to create hook laden, uncomplicated but precisely woven punk pop as bands like The Undertones and Buzzcocks, and with more encounters like this the potential for a similar status for Shark Tape ahead might be on the cards.

River Runs Deep comes next, opening with an eighties electro rock like welcome, backing it up with harmonious vocals before adding tempering through vivacious shadows from the bass. Swinging beats and more exotic electronic hues bring new colour to the slimline but rich landscape of the song as it grows, and though it cannot quite emulate the previous pair in strength it keeps the flames of satisfaction burning nicely before the more agitated charms of Long Time Coming take over. Lorek’s bass has a delicious dark tone as it brings the song into view, riveting coaxing quickly wrapped in the indie sparkle of guitar and vocals. As its predecessor there is also an essence of eighties colouring, a new wave pop invention infused with a rawer nineties rock pop that works away to create another choice proposal within Marathon.

Slightly mellower but no less compelling, Smell of Sirens provides a vibrant croon of melodic suggestiveness next. There is a sturdy rhythmic frame and emotional nature to it keeping its spatial melodies and airy atmosphere grounded as vocally and lyrically the song unveils its heart. Revealing further depth and strength in the band’s songwriting the track drifts away to be replaced by the captivating Neverlast with its more sombre but relentlessly catchy stroll. It is one of those songs which works away on the listener almost without them realising, making a deeper, more potent impression than first thought to return at will with its hooks and stirring melodies. Both impress but are soon overshadowed by the outstanding roguish presence of Black Panther. Surely bred from a diet of The Ramones and The Clash, the track is mischievous punk pop with robust rhythms and heavy duty bass riffs led by rebellious vocals. Equipped with a searing guitar solo, barb loaded punk hooks, and bracing rock ‘n’ roll tenacity, the track is nonstop anthemic devilment.

   Through the more controlled Runway and straight after Top Rock Seller, band and album continue to ignite ears and thoughts. Though the first of the pair is more restrained than the last song, its resolve is permanently taunted by the predacious bass tones escorting it through ears, its devilish stroll trying to incite greater aggression in energy to match the aggressive imagination of hooks and ideation around it. The second of the two tracks offers a post punk meets shoegaze suggestion initially but soon moves towards a dusty rock presence sporting essences of grunge, melodic rock, and punk. It is a fascinating mix which has you searching for references to its flavours, Psychedelic Furs one hinting thought, but basically coming up with little by the time it is replaced by the excellent Silly Things. Its successor explores a similar tapestry of ideation but is a more sinister and heavily darker proposition; one pierced by shards of harmonic and melodic light amidst surf seeded sonic spicing.

The album is brought to a close by the acoustically sculpted Dying to Know, a song which from its minimal seeds blossoms into a fascinating web of rhythmic traps and sonic enterprise within an orchestra driven evocative breeze. The song is glorious, a final fanfare for the invention and craft of the band in writing and invention.

With highlights which reach classic song standards and lesser successes that most other albums would cry out for, Marathon is one of those treats all rock fans need in their lives. Remember how excited you got when you first heard bands like Weezer, The Smiths, and Wheatus, well you might just find yourself getting those self-same tingles again thanks to Shark Tape and their debut album.

Marathon is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/marathon/id937432092 or http://sharktape.bandcamp.com/album/marathon

https://www.facebook.com/SharkTape

RingMaster 15/06/2015

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